University of South Florida, University of Florida, Eckerd College
About Eric Mencher
I'm a documentary photographer concentrating on long term projects and everyday street photography. Recent projects include life along the Lincoln Highway (the first cross-country road in the United States), contemporary life in the Maya villages of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, religious traditions in Guatemala, and life around San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. And a lot of other things that happen to happen in front of me.
In another life I was a photojournalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where I covered assignments all around the world, including the post-apartheid era in South Africa, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, life under Fidel Castro in Cuba and the civil war in Chechnya. I also photographed a lot of stories in the arts, including the 100th anniversary of James Joyce's Ulysses, Cezanne in Provence, and a series illustrating Cervantes' masterpiece, Don Quixote. The arts are important to me.
I was the recipient of the Overseas Press Club Award for "Rwanda: Aftermath of Genocide" and have won other major awards, including prizes in the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, Best of Photojournalism and National Headliners competitions. My fellowships include a Penn State University Professional in Residence Fellowship, a Terra Fellowship from the Giverny Institute at the Museum of American Art, Giverny, France; and a Pew Fellowships in the Arts, discipline winner.
I collaborate on projects with my wife, Kass Mencher, including the series "Duets" (a juxtaposition of our images) and the Lincoln Highway. We have both exhibited our work regionally, nationally and internationally.
Photography at its best communicates and informs, enrages and engages, educates and entertains. If we truly pay attention, we will witness the most fascinating theater imaginable--real-life performances by some pretty crazy characters creating stories that reveal life with all its warts and all its beauty, once in awhile I hope, in front of my camera!